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Spotlight on mental health in the workplace

Recent research has suggested that 48% of UK workers have suffered from poor mental health, while the potential annual cost to employers could be as much as £1,400 per employee. Here we offer some key strategies to help ensure positive mental health in the workplace.

Spotting the signs

Possible indicators of mental health issues might include (but are not limited to): a change in an employee’s behaviour; a decline in their quality of work or ability to focus on a task; an increase in absence or sickness; or a change in their physical appearance.

Managing the issue

You should aim to foster a healthy and positive working environment, and ensure managers have an approachable, open attitude to discussing mental health issues. Train managers on how best to approach the subject of mental health, and promote the use of employee wellness action plans.

Carry out a mental health ‘risk assessment’

Develop a mental health action plan that identifies any risks, and puts forward proposed solutions. You should then follow this up, by evaluating how effective a solution has been in managing mental health concerns.

Encourage staff to seek expert help

There are a range of services designed to help individuals with their concerns, including mental health charity Mind, mental health services provider Rethink Mental Illness and the NHS initiative Mindful Employer.

When it comes to mental health in the workplace, the sooner problems are identified and strategies put in place the better, for both employee well-being and productivity.